Choosing Clothes for Skiing

Choosing Clothes for Skiing
Ski clothing is an important purchase that will help you remain warm and comfortable on the slopes. While skiing requires a specific set of clothes, athletes and manufacturers have made it easy by outlining a three-layer system. When used correctly, this system will protect you from the weather while managing your perspiration.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Go to a ski shop. A ski shop will offer the best selection of performance clothing designed specifically for skiing. You can find a smaller selection at many sporting goods stores.
Step 2
Shop for your base-layer clothing. Your base layer will be form-fitting long-sleeved shirts, long johns and underwear with some stretch to them. You want to purchase clothing that is manufactured to wick sweat away from your body and dry quickly. Garments like Patagonia Capilene and Ibex Woolies are crafted with wicking fabrics like blended polyester and wool. If you intend to ski in a variety of conditions, purchase several different weights of base layers.
Step 3
Shop for mid-layers. Mid-layers are heavier than base layers and function to keep you warm. You still want to opt for wicking fabrics that can manage your moisture and keep your body dry. If you're looking to save money, consider wearing old wool sweaters, polyester or fleece pants, and fleece pullovers that you may already have. Like base layers, try to purchase or gather different weight mid-layer garments to better adjust to different conditions.
Step 4
Finish your three-layer system with skiing outerwear. You'll want a waterproof, breathable jacket-and-pants combination. When striking a balance between waterproofing and price, consider the average conditions where you ski. If it's very cold with heavy, damp snow, spend the money on better waterproofing. A garment made of Gore-Tex is good for cold, windy, wet conditions. If the weather is more moderate with sunny skies and dry snow, you can save a little money and still get enough protection. You can often find waterproofing and breathability rated between 5,000 and 30,000 (millimeters and grams respectively). Higher numbers equal better performance within each category.
Step 5
Accessorize. Before you head home with your trunk full of skiing clothing, don't forget the accessories. Non-cotton skiing socks, a warm hat, waterproof skiing gloves and a scarf, neck gaiter or face mask are the important accessories for skiing. Ski goggles or sunglasses are also important.

Tips & Warnings

Never wear cotton for skiing.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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